“It’s kind of hard to believe it’s all real, especially with how everything is right now where we can’t go out and play gigs. We’re in our own little bubble here and it just feels like a dream.” This is how lead singer and guitarist of NewDad, Julie Dawson, described her band’s sharp rise to acclaim following the release of their single ‘Blue’ earlier this year.
The four-piece, made up of Áindle O’Beirn (Bass), Sean O’Dowd (Guitar), Fiachra Parslow (Drums) and Julie, are currently living together under Tier 5 lockdown restrictions imposed across their entire home country, Ireland.
Rather than twiddling their thumbs and waiting for the outside world to return to some form of normality however, the band explain that the restrictions have come with a kind of silver lining that’s allowed them to hone in on their creative capabilities – which is something that the outside world is definitely paying attention to.
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Having formed while still at school, and going on to play what the band describe as “many terrible, terrible gigs,” Fiachra explains that going through this process allowed the band to grow to where they are now. “That’s kind of why we took so long to release music,” Sean explains, “because we didn’t want to put anything out there and then be embarrassed. We really wanted to make sure we had a concrete sound down that, we thought, really expressed who we were.”
‘Good things come to those who wait…’ so the saying goes, and with NewDad it seems to have worked wonders. The band are also similarly patient when it comes to their collaborative creative process. “When we get stuck on songs, we leave them,” Fiachra mentions. “Then we can come back to them on shitty phone recordings like two months later and play them differently… that’s how some of our bad songs turned good.”
The fun-loving nature that NewDad possesses as a group of individuals can also be heard throughout their music. As Áindle explains, “We kind of hate showboaty, flashy bands who are just doing it for their ego. We’re not very in your face; we’re not taking it too seriously, ever.”
They’re not arrogant or cocky; they don’t think too much of themselves. NewDad simply invite you into a shoegaze tinged nirvana, filled with nostalgic, reverberated guitars and uniquely entrancing vocals.
We chatted to the band a few hours ahead of their BBC 6 Music session with Steve Lamacq where, as well as two already released singles, they performed a special performance of their upcoming single ‘I Don’t Recognise You’ which is due for release on Friday, November 27th. Julie highlighted that this is the most personal offering the band have shared yet: “When I write lyrics, I tend to be quite vague because I think it’s easier to write about feelings in that way as opposed to telling a story. This one does share a bit more though, but I think it’s important to change things up with lyric writing as well, I guess.”
A band evidently on the rise, their debut EP has already been recorded and is due for release in early 2021. “We’re getting some of the mixes back now and god… we’re really excited!” explains Sean, and for a young band churning out glorious new music, they have every right to be excited.
In a post-Covid world where music can once again be enjoyed in the open air, in the dingy basements, and in the close, sweaty flesh, make sure to add NewDad to your list of bands to go and see – you won’t regret it.
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Words: Jamie Wilde
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